Death tolls in Iraq continue to reach new highs these days, with the month of January ending with 1,840 dead and 2,088 others wounded nationwide, up from 1,180 dead last month.
Iraq’s own “official” death tolls were somewhat lower, claiming 1,202 killed (1,013 plus 189 militants) and 2,024 wounded, and Agence-France Presse was preposterously low, putting the toll at just over 900.
Iraq’s toll was just slightly up from December though, which doesn’t make much sense as the Anbar Province exploded in violence, the whole city of Fallujah fell to al-Qaeda, and there have been huge, daily battles across that province.
The violence elsewhere across Iraq does appear roughly flat, but the official government figures appear to entirely ignore reported deaths in all of the Anbar fighting, which would explain the discrepancy.
The Anbar Province started January with big public protests and a military crackdown, and before long al-Qaeda had used this chaos as a chance to seize significant territory. There is no sign that the situation will be resolved soon, and this is likely to continue to drive large tolls in the weeks and months to come.